How Much Juice Is In One Lemon? Lemon Juice Explained

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has come across a recipe that called for “the juice of one lemon” and thought to themselves, “But how much juice is in one lemon?” And since I use a lot of lemons in the kitchen and in homemade cleaning solutions, it seemed like a question worth answering!

A hand-held juicer comes in handy for juicing just a lemon or two, and a medium lemon has about 3 tablespoons of juice.

As it happens, one average-sized lemon will give you approximately 3 tablespoons of juice. If you’re looking to get the maximum amount of juice out of a lemon or other citrus fruit, there are a few tricks that can help!

Jillee’s Take:

Growing up in Southern California, we had a lemon tree in our backyard, so we always had fresh lemon juice available when we needed it. I became quite adept at gauging how much lemon juice I could expect to get out of lemons, and I’m thrilled to put my lemon expertise to good use by sharing it with you!

How Many Tablespoons Of Juice Are In A Lemon?

As you might expect, the amount of juice in a lemon largely depends on its size, but you can expect a medium-sized lemon to yield about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. You could easily use 3 tablespoons of bottled or frozen-then-thawed lemon juice in recipes that call for the “juice of 1 lemon.”

Some recipes call for a more specific amount of lemon juice, so it also helps to know how many lemons you’d need to juice to get a certain amount. You can reasonably expect 3 medium lemons to yield about 1/2 cup of lemon juice, while 5 medium lemons should give you about 1 cup of juice. (See the table below for more.)

Regardless of the size of the lemon in question, you can safely expect to get at least 2 tablespoons of juice out of it.

How Big Is A Medium Lemon?

All this talk about medium lemons may have you scratching your head and asking, “But how big is a medium lemon?” Here are some guidelines to help clarify:

  • A medium-sized lemon is around 2-3 inches in diameter and length.
  • A medium lemon weighs 4-5 ounces. (Four medium lemons will weigh around 1 pound.)
  • You should almost be able to close your hand around a medium lemon.
A medium lemon will yield about 3 tablespoons of juice.

How Many Lemons? Juice By The Numbers

QuantityJuice Yield (Tbsp)Juice Yield (oz)Juice Yield (mL)Juice Yield (g)Juice Yield (cups)
1 medium lemon3 Tbsp1.5 oz44 mL45 grams1/5 cup
2 medium lemons6 Tbsp3 oz88 mL90 grams.375 cup (about 2/5)
3 medium lemons9 Tbsp4.5 oz132 mL135 grams.563 cup (about 1/2)
4 medium lemons12 Tbsp6 oz176 mL180 grams3/4 cup
5 medium lemons15 Tbsp7.5 oz220 mL225 gramsabout 1 cup
This hand-held juicer is an effecient way to get the juice out of a lemon.

Juicing Lemons: How To Get The Most Juice From A Lemon

When shopping for lemons, look for fruits that yield when you squeeze them — a sign of a juicy lemon! When you’re ready to juice it, use my tried-and-true technique for getting the most juice out of citrus, which involves zapping it in your microwave and rolling it around on the countertop.

There are plenty of useful juicing tools out there too, like my favorite 2-in-1 hand juicer — it’s compact, easy to use, and keeps the seeds contained! (If you’re using your hands, you can always squeeze lemons over a fine mesh sieve to catch any seeds.)

“Cut off the top and bottom of the lemon if it’s big [to make it] easier to squeeze. I have a Meyer lemon tree and sometimes the lemons get huge, so we bought an orange juice squeezer instead. You can also quarter [lemons] if they’re too big.”

– OGT Reader Kate C.
A medium lemon yields about three tablespoons of juice and one tablespoon of zest.

How Much Zest Is In A Lemon?

Another handy thing to know about lemons is that a medium lemon will yield about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. (It’s worth noting that you’ll have a much easier time zesting a lemon before cutting or juicing it!)

Only need lemon juice? Why not zest your lemon anyway and freeze it for later? Use a microplane or the smallest holes on your grater to remove the zest while avoiding the (bitter) white pith.

You can also peel your lemons and save the peels for later. (You might be surprised by how many uses for lemon peels there are!)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Juice Is In Half A Lemon?

If a medium-sized lemon yields 3 tablespoons of juice, half a lemon would yield about 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice.

How Much Juice Is In One Large Lemon?

A large lemon weighing 5-6 ounces would yield about 4 tablespoons of juice.

How Much Juice Is In One Small Lemon?

A small lemon weighing 3-4 ounces would yield about 2 tablespoons of juice.

How Many Teaspoons Of Zest Are In One Lemon?

One medium lemon will yield about 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) of lemon zest.

How Big Can Lemons Get?

A lemon grown in Israel holds the current record for the world’s heaviest lemon — it weighed 11 pounds and 9.7 ounces and had a circumference of 29 inches!

Are Lemons A Healthy Food?

You can find nutrition facts for lemons on the USDA website.

Lemon Garlic Dump Chicken is one of my favorite ways to use the juice of lemons.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make These Recipes

If you love the flavor of lemon like I do, you’re going to love these recipes!

You would get about two cups of lemon juice from these twelve medium lemons.


Lemon lovers will surely save themselves time and effort after learning how much juice is in a lemon! Just remember that medium lemons yield about 3 tablespoons of juice, and any lemon will give you at least 2 tablespoons of juice. (But I’ll keep buying an extra lemon for good measure — there are so many ways to use the juice and peels, I know it won’t go to waste!)

How do you use lemons at home?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • Good information.,We have a few recipes that call for lemon juice. I just wish the acid wasn’t so hard on my poor hands.. We just use an old fashioned juicer.m l definitely want to look for a juicer like the one pictured .l’ve made lemon cookie, a version of Starbucks Lemon bread. My mother makes a dessert – an old family recipe that uses the lemon juice and egg whites and yolks frozen. It’s kind of like a Custard.

  • A trick I have learned for using that juicing tool is to cut off the top and bottom of the lemon if it’s big and it will be easier to squeeze. I have an improved Meyer lemon tree and sometimes the lemons get huge. We bought an orange juice squeezer instead. You can also quarter them if they’re too big.
    For Eureka and other lemons that are generally harder skinned, leaving them out a few days often makes them softer and juicier.

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